- Mar -
26

2014 Cherry Blossom Festival

2014 Cherry Blossom Festival

On Saturday, March 22, visitors to The Gardens enjoyed the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, presented by Japan-America Society of Alabama in the Japanese Gardens. The event began with a presentation by the Briarwood Church Japanese Children’s Group and continued throughout the afternoon with the announcement of a haiku contest winner from Birmingham Public Library and martial arts demonstrations. To learn more about Japan-America Society of Alabama, visit them on the web at www.jasaweb.org.

- Mar -
17

Plants: Inside Out! Docent Training

Plants: Inside Out! Docent Training

On Thursday, Discovery Field Trips welcomed docents for Plants: Inside Out! its new middle school program. Thirteen volunteers participated, five of which were part of a partnership with UAB professor Dr. Julie Price, a member at Birmingham Botanical Gardens and a past Junior Board president. Dr. Price is teaching a semester long environmental science class, and part of their course requirement is to volunteer 20 hours with a local environmental organization. 

This Thursday, four of these volunteers will have their first outing with Arlington School of Birmingham.

- Mar -
7

David Price headlines 2014 Spencer Lecture

(David Price, Murray Spencer South, Nancy Spencer Smith, Executive Director & CEO Fred Spicer)

David Price headlines 2014 Spencer Lecture

The 2014 Spencer Lecture was held in the Linn-Henley Lecture Hall at Birmingham Botanical Gardens on March 6. President of the Bok Tower Gardens Foundation David Price spoke at 6:30 p.m. about his role and his work, “Bok Tower Gardens: America’s Taj Majal.”

- Feb -
27

The Art of David Price

The Art of David Price

President of the Bok Tower Gardens Foundation David Price comes to Birmingham Botanical Gardens for the annual Spencer Lecture on Thursday, March 6. He recently spoke to The Gardens at AL.com about his plant preservation work and his time at the Olmsted designed National Historic Landmark in Lake Wales, Florida. Price also shared some of this art work, here, for The Gardens Blog.

To learn more about the annual free lecture and to reserve a seat online, visit www.bbgardens.org/spencerlecture.

- Feb -
26

Trillium Treasures

Pictured: Trillium flexipes

Trilliums normally take from five to eight years to flower when propagated from seed, thus few nurseries carry them and, when they are sold, are frequently prohibitively expensive. If you ever find flowering-size trilliums that are not pricey, question if they were dug from the wild, something we strongly discourage.

Two years ago we had the rare opportunity to connect with a person who has been growing trilliums from seed for 20 years and does not sell them until they are at, or near, flowering size. Most of the species are sold in special tube pots that are nearly a gallon and the plants, when leafed out, are about a foot tall and eight to ten inches wide.

We will be selling a limited number of these plants at our Spring Plant Sale but, much like we did two years ago, we’ve decided to take pre-orders so that more people will be able to grow this iconic spring wildflower. This year we are able to offer eight species, all of which are native to Alabama:

  • Trillium cuneatum, sweet Betsy, purple toadshade
  • Trillium luteum, yellow wake-robin, lemon trillium
  • Trillium sulcatum, southern red trillium, furrowed wake-robin
  • Trillium flexipes, nodding trillium, bent trillium
  • Trillium vasyei, sweet wake-robin, trinity flower
  • Trillium erectum, red trillium, purple trillium
  • Trillium grandiflorum, great white trillium, white wake-robin
  • Trillium simile, jeweled wake-robin, sweet white trillium

 

To see images of each of these species, simply Google them.

The prices for these treasures differ depending on the species, and for a preorder we need a minimum order of five plants. If you prefer to purchase single plants, we will have them at the Spring Plant Sale, while they last. Included with each order will be complete planting and cultural information. The last time we conducted this pre-order, some individuals who didn’t want to pay the cost for five plants, teamed up with a friend to split an order.

If interested in placing an order, please go to this page, print it out, fill in the appropriate spaces and return it to Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens by mail or in person We must have your order in hand by no later than Wednesday, March 26, along with your payment (no cash, please).

Plants will be available for pickup beginning Friday, April 2. Should our source run low on any species, we will fill orders in the order they are received.

Note: A well-known, popular specialty nursery is selling these same plants for $22-$30 each, plus shipping cost!

Questions? Please contact: John Manion, Kaul Wildflower Garden Curator at jmanion@bbgardens.org

- Feb -
25

Dr. George Washington Carver Garden at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Dr. George Washington Carver Garden at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Recently, at AL.com, we shared our George Washington Carver Garden, a unique space which has allowed Birmingham children to learn about the discoveries of one of Alabama’s most prolific native sons. Through Discovery Field Trips, Birmingham students have an opportunity to explore crops hands-on. Today at The Gardens Blog, we share more photos from the field trip.

Students from 1st – 6th grade are invited to take part in this Discovery Field Trip, which is offered from September until November from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Transportation is provided for Birmingham City Schools through the Junior League of Birmingham It’s provided for Bessemer City Schools through Vulcan Materials Foundation. Teachers can learn more about this and all Discovery Field Trips at The Gardens website, where they can also learn how to plan an educational opportunity for their own class.

- Feb -
21

2014 Urban Forestry Fair

2014 Urban Forestry Fair

The Urban Forestry Fair was held this week at Boutwell Auditorium in Birmingham. Staff and volunteers from Birmingham Botanical Gardens were on hand to teach students about the life cycle of trees, specifically oak trees. Two activities, “Tree Cookies” and “Freedom Oaks,” were led.

“Tree cookies” teaches students about determining the age of a fell or living tree by counting the annual rings. Each student received a small hardwood cookie to decorate as a name tag. The students then planted a germinated White Oak seedling collected in October from a local community. They discussed the life cycle of an oak tree.
The students participating were 4th and 5th grade students from Birmingham City Schools.

- Feb -
20

Fossils to Ferns to Flowers

Fossils to Ferns to Flowers – and Everything in Between; the Story of Plant Evolution 

On Saturday February 22, Brian Axsmith, Ph.D. of the University of South Alabama leads “Fossils to Ferns to Flowers – and Everything in Between; the Story of Plant Evolution,” an elective in the Certificate in Native Plant Studies series. Any of you who took Brian’s previous class will understand why we were eager to invite him back! A noted paleobotanist, Brian possesses and in-depth knowledge of the evolution of plants and their fossil records.

Learn more and register online at www.bbgardens.org/plantstudies.

Fossils to Ferns to Flowers – and Everything in Between
The Story of Plant Evolution (elective)
Instructor: Brian Axsmith, Ph.D.
Saturday, February 22 | 12:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Location: Birmingham Botanical Garden
$40 Members | $45 Non-Members

When did plants first invade the land and what did they look like? Where were they found, and how did they evolve into what we see today? How do researchers determine relationships between groups of plants? This class will answer these questions between groups of plants? This class will answer these questions and offer access to fossils of the earliest known seed and leaf, fossil conifer cones and herbarium specimens – to help us understand how the fascinating world of plants evolved. Time will be spent in The Gardens to corroborate all these topics with live plants.

- Feb -
17

Conservatory set to reopen on February 24

Conservatory at Birmingham Botanical Gardens reopens to the public on February 24

The Gardens is eager to welcome visitors back to the Conservatory, a 50-year-old Birmingham icon which hasn’t been open to the public since April of 2011. A $1.3 million renovation project has given the attraction and classroom new life, and everyone will have an opportunity to enjoy the improvements on Monday, February 24.

Take a little sneak peak!

- Feb -
4

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, as part of a community-wide day of service, a volunteer workday was held at The Gardens on January 20. Participants engaged in a variety of tasks in a couple areas of The Gardens. Over 55 volunteers, adults and teens, came out from organizations like BBVA Compass, Youth Serve of Birmingham and Hands on Birmingham.